Friday, July 6, 2018

Trust Your Gut

I have learnt enough lessons by not trusting my own instincts. I have allowed myself to make decisions to please others or do what is normal or expected of me. Yes, I realize more than a few of you are now laughing when reading the words "normal" and "anything to do with me" in the same sentence. Enjoy your moment.☺☺

"Trust your gut" as the saying goes. I also have come to trust that when something comes into my thoughts it arrives for a reason. The quirky "If you want to know where your heart is, look to where your mind wanders"  is a good honest quote. The "heart"  in the quote does not necessarily mean a person. It can be anything including a place, a new job or a hamburger if that's your fancy. My point is that  "Trust your gut and where your mind wanders" are not mutually exclusive. They are helping point you in the right direction if you take the time to pay attention. It has taken me a long time to recognize it's importance, be smart enough to listen and have the courage to act on it.

Why this esoteric ramble? I had accepted a job in Dhaka Bangladesh which was to start on August 25th. I told myself I wanted the challenge. I told myself it will be interesting. I told myself the randomness of the choice was what set it apart from a job elsewhere. I told myself nobody goes there so it will be different. What I did not do was ask myself " Ken, do you really want to go there"? Yes, sometimes I talk to myself in the 3rd person, who doesn't right?. A bit strange maybe but a University of Michigan study says it can control stress in emotional situations. So we will go with that.

The last couple of weeks, out of the blue, my mind has been wandering back to Mexico. I was having a great time experiencing Thailand and planning ahead to Malaysia and Indonesia however "viva Mexico" kept creeping into the raging torrent that is my future (strong adjectives used for effect only). I was in communication with the school in Bangladesh coordinating the requirement for my work visa. Initially I spoke to Mr. Zee, the recruiter, and sent him everything that he asked for. This was a copy of my passport, a copy of the "used" pages and visas, my CV, my teaching certificate, an updated police report and scanned passport photos. The scanned used pages are to see if I have any visa's for Pakistan or any other country not friendly to Bangladesh. Ah yes, life on the road. He told me he passed it to Ayesha, the school director and she would be in touch. A few days later her email arrived asking for all the documents again. Whoa boy, here we go.

I need an invitation letter and these are important documents plus they needed to know which Bangladesh High Commission I would be going to. I chose Singapore and we were off to the races. Wait, they need to know where I will be flying in from. OK, based on my plans, Jakarta sounds reasonable. Now to sit back and let it happen.

Doh! Next up, Lisa the Chief Administration Office welcomes me with a nice email. She then requests everything again and I notice she is cc'ing her bosses who will never read the email. I have returned to the corporate "cover your ass" world. I obliged and sent everything requested. I was polite, I never said I had already sent this information twice and listed everything in detail. Honestly at this point I was thinking that if these three can not get it organized how troublesome is this school going to be.

Four days go by and Lisa sends me a reminder that I need to send everything to her so she can process the invitation letter. Politely on paper, ranting in front of the keyboard,  I remind her that everything was in the initial response (our email chain was now about 12) as attachments. Her reply. "if it is so let me ask my Tech guy to do something. I will let you know. Thanks for your kind cooperation."  Mexico roared loudly in my head.

As a result self directed and desired frustration I sent off a quick message to Matt Poy, Administrative Supervisor at the Heslington Language Institute  where I had worked previously. I really liked working at this school, I like the people, the students and the town. Mostly, I really like Mexico. (re:where your mind wanders). After a few simple messages I was offered a job back at the school and it took no time to accept. I did need to rearrange a few reservations but that was simple. A few messages to the school in Dhaka Bangladesh letting them know my new plan and thanks for everything and it is done.

Subconsciously I was looking for a reason not to go to Bangladesh. I allowed myself get angry at our crappy communication and use that as my reason. Suddenly Mexico became a possibility because I trusted my gut, went to where my mind was wandering and listened to the voice in my head....well the voices in my head.

Previous plans.
July 12th Fly from Bangkok to Kuala Lumpur. Travel through Malaysia, Singapore and Indonesia
August 25th. Fly Jakarta Indonesia to Dhaka Bangladesh.
August 26th to June 23, 2019 - Work in Dhaka Bangladesh

New Plans
July 12th Fly from Bangkok to Kuala Lumpur. Travel through Malaysia, Singapore
July 24th Fly to London England (I found a ridiculously cheap flight) and meet up with various people I have met from my travels.
July 24th to August 10 - Visit a bit of England and Wales
August 10th fly to Cancun Mexico and hang out for a few days
August 11th fly to Puebla Mexico then take a bus to Tehuacan Mexico
August 12th - Viva Mexico

My plans have been scattered and I have been a bit flighty since I left China in March. I have been told as much by more that one person. I would see a shiny new opportunity and think that is what I want and where I want to be. Mostly it is just ego. "look I can work here now"

Ultimately, if you just relax and let the universe go about it's business things will work out. However, when you allow it to happen you must grasp what it delivers and go with it. 

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